Former U.S. Congressman from Woonsocket, St Germain, dies at 86

Former U.S. Congressman from Woonsocket, St Germain, dies at 86

WOONSOCKET – A former U.S. Congressman who lived for many years in Woonsocket passed away on Saturday, Aug. 16 at his home in Newport.

Fernand Joseph St Germain was born in Blackstone, Mass. in 1928, and attended parochial schools in the city. A French Canadian, St Germain later attended Our Lady of Providence Seminary High School, graduating in 1945, and graduated from Providence College in 1948.

He served in the United States Army from 1949 to 1952, and graduated from Boston University Law School in 1955. St Germain served in the Rhode Island House of Representatives from 1952 to 1961 and the U.S. House of Representatives from 1961 to 1989.

A Democrat, St Germain served as chairman of the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs. The Garn–St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 is named after him. He is known for his involvement in passing legislation that removed some regulations on the savings and loans industry, which allowed institutions to engage in risky lending practices. The change is believed to contributed to the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s.

St Germain died late Saturday night in his Newport home. He was 86 years old.